While finding an editing job on a popular magazine like Discover or Wired is a challenging endeavor, you may be able to get an editorial position on a trade magazine, journal, or a company magazine. For example, I was lucky enough to get hired as an assistant editor at a publishing company in Florida, where I gained experience working on a print publication and an online weekly newsletter.
Working on the magazine was interesting because I got to see the
publication process. It typically began with a company submitting stories, and
then editor choosing which stories he wanted to feature in that month’s issue.
Next, we would edit the articles.
On my end, this involved doing a lot of research
and asking questions because, for me, it was a new field (metal working). We were
always on a tight deadline because the final product had to be electronically
sent to the printing press by a certain date. After the articles and press
releases were edited, the files and the selected images were sent to the art
director. She did her magic, laying out the stories, fitting in the images, and--most importantly--working the ads into the magazine.
Once this process was completed, the pages were printed on these
big sheets, called blue lines, and we had to go over them carefully to check
for errors. If there were any mistakes, the art director would fix them, and
then the page would be reprinted for our approval. Lastly, the file would
be shipped off to be printed. The best part was when the glossy magazine
arrived at the office. Of course, by that time, we had already started on the next month’s
issue. It’s a continuous cycle without any real downtime, but it’s definitely
an interesting and worthwhile profession.
If I haven’t peaked your curiosity about working on a print
magazine, the Occupational
Outlook Handbook points out that online newspapers and magazines
offer opportunities for creating special features, blogs, and interactive
Husni, Samir. “The Death of Print Magazines and Other Fairy Tales.” Writer’s Digest, 13 Nov. 2008. 10 April 2010. Web < http://www.writersdigest.com/article/the-death-of-print-magazines-and-other-fairy-tales/>.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Technical Writers." Occupational Outlook Handbook, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos319.htm>.